Higher Education Administration

After graduating in 2004 with a major in Religion major William Searle coordinated the international admissions process for Gettysburg College for three years.  He then enrolled in a master's degree program in higher education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently a research associate in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning at Cornell University, where he collects, analyzes, and disseminates data that is used for institutional decision-making purposes. Will explains the value of his Religion major in the following way:

"There are several examples of the ways in which my religion major has been brought to bear in my life after graduation, but I'll give just one. For my senior thesis, I examined several scientific theories put forth by young universe creationists to account for the existence of distant starlight (light that would take millions of years to reach Earth) in a universe they argue is on the order of thousands of years old. This somewhat bizarre choice of topics enabled me to fuse my interest in astronomy with the study of religion, and it gave me experience writing about complex, technical concepts for an audience for whom such information was not so familiar. I've learned that the ability to dish up difficult ideas in an easily digestible manner is crucial to my current position in which I write about various statistical analyses for individuals who are not experts in data analysis."

Amanda Adair, who graduated from Gettysburg College with a major in Religion in 2008, began working at Gettysburg College as the Alumni and Development Coordinator with specific responsibilities with Major Gift fundraising and the Senior Class Gift Campaign.  At the present time Amanda is the Special Projects Coordinator in the Development Office of Gettysburg College.  Reflecting on her Religion major, she remarks:

"I find myself using the skills I learned from my Religion major every day.  My Religion courses taught me to write and speak persuasively and effectively. The Religion major introduced me to a wide range of cultures and traditions and exposed me to ideas outside of my own experiences.  This gave me a much broader world view, and has allowed me to understand and relate to the perspectives of others, an ability that has proven invaluable when inter-acting with alumni, volunteers and co-workers.  The professors in the Religion department were truly amazing, and constantly pushed me to challenge myself and become a more confident student and a poised speaker.  I am grateful to them every time I have to make a speech or give a presentation."